Tag Archives: Australian Rural Leadership Foundation

Sew 357 – Leadership is an action

Liz Jumelet upcyclesFive years ago, I was down a dry gully in the remote Kimberley region on the Australian Rural Leadership Program when one of our spiritual travellers mentioned a quote which resonates with me to this day.

“Leadership is an action you take, not a position you hold”, was the quote repeated by my C16 team mate and attributed to Donald H. McGannon, an early American broadcasting executive who believed in the industry’s potential for good. The quote is powerful because it demonstrates a process for every one of us to influence outcomes, not just those with positional or assumed power. 

I’ve been taking action every day this year on a 365-day campaign of my own making – refashioning existing clothing instead of buying new. This campaign is about dressing with conscience – reducing our clothing footprint on the world through reuse and choosing natural fibre clothing because it has less embodied energy than synthetics. And it is great to see the influential 1MillionWomen campaign for individual action against climate change pick up the Sew it Again story.  Continue reading

Sew 267 – Maintaining your clothes

Jane Milburn wears upcycled woolWhat is good for us, is good for the environment. That’s the message from Waste Less, Live More Week in the United Kingdom and the Be Resourceful Challenge. The week (Sept 22-28) is about reconnecting with our belongings, making things last longer, wasting less and living more. It is a project demonstrating how to improve our environment, supporting people to live in ways that help reduce natural resource use and waste, and addressing issues together. How fantastic – what a great initiative to follow.

I discovered this in a Be Resourceful post by the Centre for Sustainable Fashion which in turn links to another great UK initiative Love your Clothes that is raising awareness about the value of clothes and encouraging more thinking about the way we purchase, use and dispose of clothes. This Love your Clothes platform provides easy and practical tips to: make your clothes last longer; reduce the environmental impact of laundering your clothes: deal with unwanted clothes and make the most of your wardrobe. Fabulous ideas, thank you!  Continue reading

Sew 261 – Wear your own sparkle

Upcycled wool skirt and boleroYour sparkle is your uniqueness. Wear your sparkle and be the best version of yourself you can be said Julie Cross, one of the many inspirational speakers at Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women’s Network conference in Charters Towers.

We make our own footprints in life. If we place more importance on the opinions of others than our own, we give away our power.

So inspiring to be part the QRRRWN network full of women doing amazing things – including four fellows from the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. Georgie Somerset, below left, the outgoing QRRRWN president. Cathy McGowan MP, Catherine Marriott (wearing a Textile Beat history skirt) and Jane Milburn.  Continue reading

Sew 188 – ARLF farewell honours

Dr Lesley Fitzpatrick wears upcycledIt was an honour to be commissioned to create a unique, relevant farewell gift for Dr Lesley Fitzpatrick who led the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation as CEO for seven years.

The ARLF’s flagship program is the Australian Rural Leadership Program which provides a rare opportunity to enrich, enlighten and empower selected individuals – and I was fortunate to be sponsored through the program in 2009 thanks to the Fairfax Agricultural Media scholarship.

One of Lesley’s achievements as CEO was securing Graduate Certificate status for ARLP through James Cook University. I found the Grad Cert transformative because It led me on a creative journey into eco-leadership, reusing natural fibres to reduce waste and help shift the way we think about fashion and clothing.  Continue reading

Sew 55 – Wool jumper to skirt

jumper to skirtRefashion a jumper to become a skirt and scarf that utilises the beautiful drape of wool knits.

I’m excited to now have the Jumpers and Jazz Festival at Warwick Queensland in my calendar for July as this event aligns so well with what I’m doing. Stay tuned for info on the Jumper-to-skirt garment surgery workshop at Abbey of the Roses.

This quirky country Queensland festival is now in its 10th year and my connection with it was brought about by Sue Hamlet of Fledge Designs, who creates its brochures and is a regular Sew it Again supporter – thanks Sue for ongoing encouragement!

My 365-day Sew it Again project to demonstrate a different way of dressing by refashioning existing clothing emerged from study last year for a Graduate Certificate of Australian Rural Leadership. This James Cook University course run with the Australian Rural Leadership FoundationContinue reading

Sew 40 – Changing clothes and habits

seablue muumuuSkirt becomes one-shoulder dress by creating an armhole, lifting the hemline in a few minutes to create a second life.

I’m refashioning a garment a day as a creative way to distil wardrobes of clothing horded or rescued from op shops because I appreciate their intrinsic value as natural resources.

For me this is not just about remaking and selling clothes at places like Reverse Emporium, it is about leading – demonstrating by actions – how simple old-fashioned home-sewing skills can empower us to dress in a different way.

My Sew it Again project emerged from postgraduate study with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation through James Cook University which was transformative – it led to eco-leadership in an authentic space of my own making.

I’m tapping into a global sustainable fashion movement in the United Kingdom and United States which is raising awareness about where clothes come from and what is their true cost. Continue reading

Sew 35 – Dress renovation

upcycled cotton dressThis op shop dress was done over by shortening it, taking pinking shears to the armholes then adding a knit-fabric collar cut from the bottom-half of an op shop vest.

Resewing existing clothing for a second life is creative, ethical, thrifty, sustainable – and fun. It takes is a little time (making that is the hard part), a simple sewing skills and imagination.

Society is now much more aware of where food comes from and its impact on our health and environment – and is gradually coming to consciousness about where clothing comes from and its equivalent impacts.

In her book Sew Eco, Ruth Singer says the textile and fashion industries are fraught with potential environmental and ethical issues. Some to consider are:  Continue reading